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Bernard d’Espagnat, a French physicist and philosopher of science whose research has focused on “veiled reality,” has won the 2009 Templeton Prize, believed to be the largest yearly monetary award given to a single individual. Announcement of the prize March 16 was made in Paris instead of New York City because d’Espagnat, 87, professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the University of Paris-Sud, said he did not want to leave his wife for an extended time. In prepared remarks, d’Espagnat spoke of what can and cannot be explained about the nature of being. While only science “yields true knowledge,” he said, realms like religion and the arts offer a glimpse of the “ground of things,” an area where “science has no such privilege.” The prize was created by the late U.S.-born philanthropist John M. Templeton.

 

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